If I had a dollar for every time I put your advice to use, I’d give you the millions as repayment!

The other day, someone asked me what my success story was. I simply smiled and thought of what I could tell him. Should I tell him about the times I was laughed at for not knowing the most basic things? Should I tell him about the time I stayed up for days straight to get something done only for it to get rejected? Should I tell him about the time my parents told me to drop the whole thing? Should I tell him the names of all the people I lost on the way? I didn’t know what to say. And then your face flashed in my mind!

You stayed behind and pushed me.


And just in that one second, all my struggles seemed so trivial. My entire journey feels like a dimly lit path where I didn’t know which turn would bring light and which, a dead-end. But it all become so much easier with you around. You didn’t hold my hand. You stayed behind and pushed me. You didn’t tell me what to do. You showed me the possibilities and told me to figure the way out myself.

Back then, I hated you for all the times you told me to do it myself. I hated you for pushing me more than I liked. I hated you for burdening me with so much I could barely breathe. If only I had known back then what it was that you were aiming for!

And so today, I want to thank you. For making me believe in myself before anyone else did. For making me realise what it is that I want from life. For making me cry and for making me laugh. And finally, for pushing me till I did my very best.

‘Your mentor is your friend’.


You knew this mentor-mentee relationship was a one-way street and yet you chose to shower me with every ounce of knowledge you had. So I strongly disbelieve in the phrase ‘your mentor is your friend’. Your mentor is your teacher, your parent, your critic, your audience and everything in between!

And so, dear mentor, I owe my success to your continued support. For if it wasn’t for you, I would still be average. For if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t understand the meaning of breaking through the ordinary. For if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t realise that talent plays a very small role in success!

I hope you look back at the time you spent with and for me, you smile and say, “It was all worth it!”


Your student!

Author: Zainab Haji


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